I don’t want to speak too soon but it’s looking like we may have to dodge the really bad weather this year.

Anyone who got a new pair of gloves for Christmas or invested in a new sledge or replacement snow shovels might be feeling a bit let down just now but there’s always next year.

The recent relatively mild weather has meant that a lot of the capital works across the area have progressed. In particular a number of housing developments such as housing at Haldane; Old Bonhill; and Dumbarton Waterfront see to be racing away and it won’t be too long before some families are inside measuring up for a new set of curtains.

There has also been a lot of roadworks in the area recently and more still to come.

They can be a real inconvenience at times but hopefully, the long term benefits will outweigh the short term.

Over recent years the Council has invested in schools and improved sports facilities.

There was an expectation that the improved all-weather pitches and indoor facilities would be made available to community groups for activities but this has not materialised even though we have all-weather pitches in Balloch Campus, St. Ronan's PS, Bonhill PS, Bellsmyre Campus, and a new facility being built at Levenvale.

There are other sports facilities still to be completed including 3 all weather tennis courts in Argyll Park so we should be looking at making the most of these and opening them up to local groups where there is real interest in using them.

When I raised this at the IRED Committee there was unanimous support for this from councillors.

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The Council budget has been a bit different this year; we had some management cuts taken in November; political savings options were announced in December and but were scrapped in February along with the planned public consultation which was abandoned this week even though we still have a budget setting day planned for 27th March.

The Council agreed the Council Tax rise and the new Band D Council Tax rate for 2019/20 was set at £1,233.83; an increase of 3 per cent on last year.

This doesn’t include water and sewage and of course for those in Band Es and above the increase will be larger.

At this week’s council meeting it was also agreed on a rent increase of 2 per cent in line with the feedback from the tenants’ organisations feedback.

Finally, I’m sure that local residents will be delighted to learn that the Pavilion Cafe in Levengrove Park is now open so if you’re out for a stroll or walking the dog, you can stop by for a mug of tea and or some coffee and cake.